Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Homage: Life on the Street

I was recently in Paris with my old friend Mark and we’d stopped to admire the Porte St. Denis. “That’s a cool fucking view” he observed, with his back to the Porte. “That IS a cool fucking view, Marky-Boy, you’re right”, I responded, quite taken by the vista across the street. I photographed it so I could draw it later, but it rang a bell, I’d seen it before. Anyway when I was about halfway through drawing it a lightbulb appeared above my head and I was like, “Shit” and reached for an Adèle Blanc-Sec book by Jacques Tardi, and sure enough, the endpapers are of the same street, albeit from a different angle. Tardi’s one of my all time favourite cartoonists, and a huge influence, sometimes (ie whenever I’m drawing Paris), too obvious an influence (note to self: next book title: "Wolverhampton"). So I was a little deflated to be emersed in a drawing that would only ram home this fact, but finished it nonetheless.

I drew the couple at the bottom left because my heart always twangs when I see elderly couples holding hands. But kids though... I’ll tell you what happened to me on Sunday. I was walking past a few of the little fuckers and one said “Hello, what’s your name?”. I told him and asked what his was. It was Solomon, which I rightly told him was a great name. He was a cute little thing and before you knew it I had this group of sprogs between the ages of 3 and 6 all chatting to me, asking me if I’d vandalised the nearby telephone box and explaining that they were waiting for the cops to arrive. That was the gist, but it was a bit confusing to be honest. It was kind of like a crack-addicted Red Hand Gang in retrospect. Anyway, it was getting tiresome and our adventure was almost over, so I continued on my way only to hear one of the girls holler “Where do you live?” and as I looked around Solomon shouted “We’re going to burgle your fucking house!”. I thought I should share that incase you thought *Mark’s* language was bad.


Darryl Cunningham said...

Kids today, eh? Full of fun. Still drawing those good buildings, I notice.

Jonathan Edwards said...

I love the birds on the lamp post and the word balloons dotted amongst the traffic. I'd love to see you do an entire Paris sketchbook along the lines of the Sasek books. How big is the original?

Alex Burrows said...

This cound form the basis of Emily's next bedroom mural. But obviously this kind of mural would either have to be done as a relief or with oils, mind.

Simon said...

Hi Tall guy! Y'know it's been 10 years since we did Meet John Dark. 10 whole years since someone made me draw a man falling out of a skyscraper with a grenade wedged in his mouth.

Jonathan, thanks, old friend. No one could top those Sasek books (hmm, the Searle sketchbook you turned me on to comes pretty darn close though), but as you know they're a big influence. I didn't own 'This Is Paris' itself until the 'Paris' series moved on to the USA and UK settings, ironically. Probably just as well ;-)
The original is 320x250mm.

Al, don't even go there! Seriously, you've given me the fear already. I'll post some pics of li'l Emily's mural later.